Business & compliance advice

What is ISO 45001 and why do you need it?

Written by Phoenix Health & Safety
14th May 2021

What is ISO 45001 and why do you need it?

Since March 2018, ISO 45001 has been the internationally recognised standard for occupational health and safety management systems in the workplace. It replaces and expands upon the guidelines in its predecessor, OHSAS 18001.

The new standard has been created by the ISO, the global non-governmental organisation that coordinates 165 national standards bodies, including the British Standards Institution (BSI).

ISO 45001 certification was developed to provide a global standard for the systematic protection of employees and visitors from work-related accidents and diseases. This is a world in which, each year, there are over 2.7 million deaths and 374 million non-fatal injuries resulting in 4 or more days of absence from work.

The new standards were also designed with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals in mind. Aligning with the standards it outlines therefore demonstrates a business is committed to reaching these goals and improving its safety and environmental practices.

What if you already have OHSAS 18001?

Companies already certified under OHSAS 18001 need to have migrated to ISO 45001 by March 2021. However, if your business has been unable to migrate because of COVID-19 disruption, you have an additional six months' grace. The process should be completed by the end of September 2021. This migration is crucial because ISO 45001 updates the standards and practices outlined by OHSAS 18001, keeping it in line with global best practice.

Why does my business need a health & safety management system?

ISO 45001 isn't just about having a loose collection of health and safety measures in place. It sets consistent standards for a coherent health and safety management framework. Within this, each individual business can organise all its rules, policies, processes, plans and practices.

This makes it easier for business to design and carry out effective safety practices, ensuring these meet global standards and therefore keep your employees safe.

It also makes it easier to comply with legal safety requirements, as ISO 45001 was designed with legislative standards in mind. By being IOSH 45001 certified businesses demonstrate that it abides by legal safety standards and is therefore a safe place to work. This helps build a positive reputation for businesses too.

Who needs ISO 45001?

Any organisation in any sector that wishes to make its health and safety management as effective as possible can achieve this via ISO 45001.

The standard is especially geared toward senior management. ISO 45001 certification demonstrates a strong commitment to the welfare of employees, suppliers and customers. There is an independent assessment process, which verifies that your organisation has implemented a structured occupational health and safety management system (OH&SMS).

The benefits of ISO 45001 certification

  • Being an ISO 45001 certified organisation enables you to:

  • Be clearly aware of potential risks

  • Improve risk management with established processes

  • Enhance employee wellbeing

  • Reduce downtime and absence caused by injuries, accidents and work-related illness

  • Minimise insurance premiums

  • Enhance morale, leading to improved productivity and employee retention

  • Become an attractive and desirable place to work

  • Build a reputation for social responsibility

  • Enhance your brand and develop a competitive advantage by achieving an internationally recognised benchmark

How Phoenix can help

Whether you are migrating from OHSAS 18001 certification or starting from scratch, the first step towards becoming an ISO 45001 certified business is to assess your current risk management capability. Then you will be able to identify the necessary improvements and additions required to successfully navigate the independent ISO 45001 assessment process.

Expert advice is vital for this and the Phoenix health and safety consultancy service is ideally equipped to provide it. Our knowledgeable and flexible team will conduct a thorough audit, tailored to the precise needs of your business. We will provide practical, actionable recommendations and assistance with all the necessary steps to:

  • Implement a robust and appropriate OH&S management system

  • Conduct the required planning and risk assessment

  • Raise employee awareness of health and safety policies

  • Communicate the benefits of ISO 45001 to every stakeholder

  • Strengthen your ability to respond to emergencies

  • Establish performance monitoring and continuous improvement processes

As one of the UK's leading providers of health and safety training, we can also empower you to provide employees with any IOSH, NEBOSH or other courses and qualifications required in the pursuit of ISO 45001 certification.

If you would like more information or wish to set up a free initial consultation with our expert team, contact us now or call 0354 500 8811.

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